Style classic: steel framed windows

It’s no wonder Crittall-style windows have been dominating our Pinterest feeds. They have the ability to completely transform a space; not just by giving it a cool, modern edge, but also by opening up a space and letting in more light.

Metal windows first became popular in the mid-18th century. Cast-iron frames found favour in schoolhouses and asylums because they were secure and the rather austere view they offered wasn’t a factor. Thanks to the industrial revolution, mass-produced steel became more available.

See these Crittal-style windows, doors and room dividers.

However, it wasn’t until after the first World Warthat steel-framed windows found widespread use in domestic homes, as their linear aesthetic was seen as strikingly modern, reflecting the Art Deco era’s love of minimal decoration and no-nonsense materials.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Today’s warehouse conversions and loft-style living have made steel windows popular again. Technological innovations mean frames can be thinner than ever before, offering a cleaner, more contemporary look than wood alternatives. According to steel-window supplier Tessa Clement-Jones:‘Steel windows are incredibly low maintenance and long lasting, and because the frames are so thin, you’re going to get lots of light.’

With open-plan living increasingly popular, tearing down all the walls isn’t always practical, and sometimes spaces still need to be divided up somehow.Crittall doors can be used as internal partitions and connecting doorways, and they’re great for dividing up and zoning spaces, allowing for more space and light. They've even made there way into the bathroom, serving as stylish shower screens.

Crittall doors are also perfect for framing courtyards, gardens and rear extensions, creating a seamless transition between inside and out.

Get the look yourself from Crittall, the company behind the steel windows of the Houses of Parliament, Pink Floyd’s recording studio/ houseboat and the Titanic. From £407 for a single residential window.

Check out these Crittall style kitchen diner extensions.

Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, Livingetc showcases the world's very best homes, breaks and makes the trends, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. It was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip Rich.